(San Francisco, CA) -- From 1967 to 1975, fueled by curiosity and naïveté, Swedish television journalists traversed the Atlantic Ocean to document the burgeoning black power movement in America. The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 mobilizes a treasure trove of forgotten 16mm film, which languished in a Swedish basement for 30 years, into an irresistible mosaic of images, music, and narration chronicling the movement’s evolution. Footage shot on the streets of Harlem, Brooklyn, and Oakland, combined with interviews with black power leaders including Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, and Eldridge Cleaver, is combined with contemporary audio interviews with leading African American artists, activists, musicians, and scholars. Woven together, the film provides a fascinating look at the people, society, culture, and style that fuelled a revolution. A film by Göran Hugo Olsson, The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 will air on the Emmy® Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens on Thursday, February 9, 2012, at 10pm (check local listings).
At the end of the 1960s and into the early 1970s, Swedish interest in the civil rights and antiwar movement peaked and Swedish filmmakers came to America with the intention of “showing the country as it really is.” Despite the obstacles they were confronted with, from both the white establishment and radicalized movement members themselves, the intrepid Swedish filmmakers forged ahead, ultimately forming bonds with key figures in the black power movement. Filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson brings this newly discovered footage to light and introduces it to a new generation, offering a startling, gritty look at a troubled America reeling from political assassinations, violence, racism, poverty, drugs, and war.
To learn more about the film, and the issues involved, visit the companion website for The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 at www.pbs.org/independentlens/black-power-mixtape. Get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the filmmaker, and explore the subject in depth with links and resources. The site also features a Talkback section where viewers can share their ideas and opinions.
Director: Göran Hugo Olsson
Producer: Annika Rogell/Story AB
Co-Producer: Joslyn Barnes, Danny Glover/Louverture Films
Co-Producer: Sveriges Television AB
Executive Producer: Tobias Janson
Featuring appearances by:
Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture, 1941-1998), leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); Honorary “Prime Minister” of the Black Panther Party
Eldridge Cleaver (1935-1998), Minister of Information of the Black Panther Party
Huey P. Newton (1942-1989), Co-founder and leader of the Black Panther Party
Emile de Antonio (1919-1989), documentary director/producer
Featuring appearances and audio commentary by:
Harry Belafonte, singer, recording artist, actor, and activist
Kathleen Cleaver, Communications Secretary, Black Panther Party; professor
Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party
Angela Davis, political activist, professor, and author
Featuring contemporary audio commentary by:
Erykah Badu, recording artist
Robin Kelley, professor/author
Talib Kweli, hip-hop recording artist
Melvin Van Peebles, actor/director
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, music producer/DJ/drummer for The Roots
Sonia Sanchez, poet/professor
About the Filmmaker
Göran Hugo Olsson (Director) is a Swedish documentary filmmaker and cinematographer, a co-founder of Story AB, and served as Commission Consultant at the Swedish Film Institute from 2000-02. He is also a member of the editorial board of Ikon South Africa, a platform for the creative documentary in South Africa. Olsson’s documentary film work includes Fuck You, Fuck You Very Much (nominated as the second best rock documentary of all time by legendary Bon Magazine) and the recently completed film on soul artist Billy Paul, Am I Black Enough for You?
About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about unique individuals, communities, and moments in history. Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen.
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For downloadable images, visit http://pressroom.pbs.org